O' Anti-Zionist Pioneers!

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I hope I'm not encroaching on Dave's beat (he blogged Farfour the Israel-Hatin' Mouse here and Nahoul the Jihadi Bumblebee here), but here's the latest news from Al-Aqsa TV's "Tomorrow's Pioneers," the virulently anti-Israel kids show produced by Hamas Studios. McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Dion Nissenbaum scored an interview with Saraa Barhoum, the show's 11-year-old host. Some samples:

Saraa wants to be a doctor. If she can't, the young star of Hamas television's best-known children's show said, she'd be proud to become a martyr. Saraa says little Jewish girls should be forced from their homes in Israel so that Palestinians can return to their land.

With the show's producer helpfully offering written tips during an interview, Saraa didn't get into how she hopes to die for her cause, be it suicide bombing, fighting the Israeli military or some other way. She carefully sidestepped any suggestion that she's subtly calling for the destruction of Israel.


After two months, Farfour [the Israel Hatin' Mous]] was beaten to death on the show by an Israeli interrogator. Nahoul, a larger-than-life bee, is now carrying his message.

"A lot of people in Palestine have died as martyrs, and lots of Palestinians hope to be martyrs," Saraa said of Farfour's demise. "This is one of the ends." 

Asked if she hoped one day to be a martyr, Saraa instinctively nodded her head. "Of course," Saraa said. "It's something to be proud of. Every Palestinian citizen hopes to be a martyr."

Saraa helps deliver similar messages to Palestinian children from a Hamas TV set filled with colorful numbers and pictures of kittens.

During the show, Saraa fields calls from Palestinian children who warble songs about Islam, liberating Jerusalem and finding answers in the barrel of a machine gun.

On one show, she cut off a caller who was singing about surrendering herself, presumably to God's will. "We don't want to surrender," Saraa told the caller. "We want to resist."

Full story here. Farfour's greatest hits here.

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  1. Saraa wants to be a doctor. If she can’t, the young star of Hamas television’s best-known children’s show said, she’d be proud to become a martyr.

    Now there’s a kid with a head on her shoulders. It’s good to have a dream, but one should also have a more obtainable backup plan.

    Saraa says little Jewish girls should be forced from their homes in Israel so that Palestinians can return to their land.

    Awwww isn’t that precious.

  2. It’s so bad, it makes them look so bad, you’d almost think it was put out there as some lame attempt to convince people that this wasn’t really put out by them, that it was all a conspiracy put out by their enemies to make them look bad.

    …if they stayed up all night trying to think up new ways to make themselves look bad, I don’t think they could have come up with a better way than this.

  3. She carefully sidestepped any suggestion that she’s subtly calling for the destruction of Israel.

    How DARE you accuse me of subtlety?

    Poor, brainwashed kids. What does an 11-year-old know about the preciousness of life? It’s adults’ job to teach them those things. What monsters these producers are!

  4. Too bad the Israelies continue to provide the material and motivation for these attitudes on an everyday basis. Aren’t libertarians supposed to be upset about the seizure of private property, especially without a vailid public purpose or compensation? Or the excessive use of force by the authorities? Just compare the number of dead Palestinian children to Israeli.

  5. Libertarians slag Israel’s policies all the time, Bill.

    That doesn’t mean they have to hold their tongues over this crap.

  6. At least they aren’t turning kids gay like that damn Tinky Winky.

  7. –Too bad the Israelies continue to provide the material and motivation for these attitudes on an everyday basis. Aren’t libertarians supposed to be upset about the seizure of private property, especially without a vailid public purpose or compensation? Or the excessive use of force by the authorities? Just compare the number of dead Palestinian children to Israeli.

    Translation: Once again, as through history, the Jews have nobody to blame but themselves for their problems.

  8. Couldn’t we just relocate the Palestinians to somewhere in Nevada? And give them casinos or something?

    Problem solved!

  9. Bill Pope,

    There is a nearly endless list of things which disgust libertarians from every mid east faction.

  10. I couldn’t disagree more with Hamas’s aims, but you have to respect their rejection of appeasement. Appeasement doesn’t work, and they understand that. Why doesn’t everyone?

  11. Asked if she hoped one day to be a martyr, Saraa instinctively nodded her head.

    I trust you meant “reflexively”.

  12. Warren,

    I’ll correct that for you. 😉

    “There is a nearly endless list of things which disgust libertarians.”

  13. Didn’t mean to sound snarky.

  14. Couldn’t we just relocate the Palestinians to somewhere in Nevada? And give them casinos or something?

    I believe the accepted procedure is to move them to Oklahoma.

  15. Asked if she hoped one day to be a martyr, Saraa instinctively nodded her head. “Of course,” Saraa said. “It’s something to be proud of. Every Palestinian citizen hopes to be a martyr.”

    You don’t win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other son-of-a-bitch die for his.
    – George Patton

  16. Nuke Jersusalem! Give ’em all 7 days notice to clear out, and then bust that place. There. No more holy land.

    But, should we do this before or after we nuke Mecca and Medina?

  17. Asked if she hoped one day to be a martyr, Saraa instinctively nodded her head. “Of course,” Saraa said. “It’s something to be proud of. Every Palestinian citizen hopes to be a martyr.”

    And we hope to make martyrs our of every Palestinian citizen. At last we have found some common ground!

  18. “Just compare the number of dead Palestinian children to Israeli.”

    So it’s a question of intention or ability?

  19. “It’s something to be proud of. Every Palestinian citizen hopes to be a martyr.”

    I’m willing to oblige them.

    Israel didn’t seize their private property, it was abandoned during the 1948 war and never reclaimed.

  20. I don’t know I try to be understanding of different cultures, but one that indoctrinates its children to kill themselves for the glory of their collective “state” is and can only be called evil.

  21. But, should we do this before or after we nuke Mecca and Medina?

    After Mecca and Medina, and just before Stonehenge. Fuckin’ Wiccans.

  22. Kinda like the movie Jesus Camp, pure brainwashing.

  23. Don’t forget to nuke Tibet. Fuckin’ Buddhists.

  24. Stephen the Goldberger : I don’t know I try to be understanding of different cultures, but one that indoctrinates its children to kill themselves for the glory of their collective “state” is and can only be called evil.

    What’s the point? If every Palestinian family boiled their children alive in hot oil tomorrow the chattering hoards would still want the buck place firmly at the feet of Israel.

  25. ktc2 : Kinda like the movie Jesus Camp, pure brainwashing.

    I liked the anti abortion guy who kept rocking back and forth. I could definitely trust him with the fruit of my lions.

  26. During the show, Saraa fields calls from Palestinian children who warble songs about Islam, liberating Jerusalem and finding answers in the barrel of a machine gun.

    Your modern “religion of peace” at work, ladies and gentlemen.

  27. Say, what if we really moved the Palestinians to Nevada and gave them their own casinos? Would they get all peaceful like, or would they start terrorizing the native Nevadans? Is peace and prosperity something that they’ll just take and enjoy?

  28. Disturbing Article indeed.

    one question about the source of the translation and the article: ” By Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers”

    What is the McClatchy newspapers? never heard of them, are they reliable or donation motivated news source?

    If I’m gonna be persuaded to buy into the “they hate us more than children” proposition, I’d like to have my ducks in a row.

  29. McClatchy: Sacramento Bee; they bought Knight Ridder (Philly Inquirer, Miami Herald).

  30. On one show, she cut off a caller who was singing about surrendering herself, presumably to God’s will. “We don’t want to surrender,” Saraa told the caller. “We want to resist.”

    Resist in the name of Islam, of course — which translates as submission / surrender (to Allah’s will, natch).

    Nahoul, the Irony-Deficient Bee!

  31. …if they stayed up all night trying to think up new ways to make themselves look bad, I don’t think they could have come up with a better way than this.

    Somehow, I doubt Palestinians eager to become martyrs are particularly worried about looking PC and loveable to citizens of The Great Satan.

  32. Say, what if we really moved the Palestinians to Nevada and gave them their own casinos? Would they get all peaceful like, or would they start terrorizing the native Nevadans? Is peace and prosperity something that they’ll just take and enjoy?

    It may be worth remembering that the “Palestinians” are the same flesh and blood as the “Israeli Arabs”. The latter, despite their second-class status, don’t cause many problems. The two-state solution that everyone has been touting for the last 60 years is a total failure. What has worked is integration.

  33. Just compare the number of dead Palestinian children to Israeli.

    When Hamas tells 11 year olds strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up, I think that number would reflect Hamas’s policies more than Israels.

  34. Your Israeli Arabs are the ones who stayed during 1948. They have citizenship and representationin the Knesset. This bunch in Gaza and the West Bank will NEVER integrate. If you make them citizens they will breed themselves into a majority and then it’s bye bye Jews.

  35. The original Palestinian Mandate stretched from the Mediterranean to Iraq. Then Jordan was created as a state for Muslims from the Palestinian Mandate. In 1948, Jordan took the West Bank and Egypt took Gaza. Part of the problem comes from Jordan’s and Egypt’s refusal to integrate for two decades after that. Now that Jordan and Egypt have signed peace deal, Hamas continues the tradition of perpetuating and milking suffering for political gain.

  36. Don’t forget to nuke Clearwater, FL. Fuckin’ Scientologists…

    No really, please nuke Clearwater. Twice.

  37. Your modern “religion of peace” at work, ladies and gentlemen.

    Uhh, modern?

  38. Twice would be nice to nuke clearwater deaddddddd.

    They’s sneaky and creepy and fucked in the headddddd.

    They lie and they plot and turn wikiiiii to muckkkkk

    On their never ending quest to get the big buckkkkkkkkkkkk.

  39. Just compare the number of dead Palestinian children to Israeli.

    We could sit and argue for decades about who’s more guilty or who has a better claim on the land. All the while more parents bury their kids, more spouses are widowed, and more people continue to live in squalor and misery.

    Anything that increases or perpetuates the cycle of violence and death and encourages more bloodshed should be condemned.

  40. Your Israeli Arabs are the ones who stayed during 1948.

    They aren’t any different from the “Palestinians”. Same people, largely by chance assigned a different political status.

    They have citizenship and representationin the Knesset.

    Indeed. Do you think that might have something to do with why they rarely blow themselves up?

    If you make them citizens they will breed themselves into a majority and then it’s bye bye Jews.

    Well, you have put your finger on the problem. The Jews are afraid of integration (with good reasons, yes, no question). There are some similarities to the South Africa situation.

    Moral of the story: before starting a colonization project, make sure you have enough people to do the job properly.

  41. We could always offer them Alaska. It has oil and salmon.

    Mmm, salmon.

  42. Casino’s for Palestinians? is the best idea I’ve heard yet. They brought prosperity to even the most disgruntled native americans, they can work their magic for the most explosives oriented disgruntled middle easterners.

  43. I think the blowing people with suicide bombs thing makes people reluctant to get too close to a fellow.

  44. You don’t have to actually wrong someone to turn him into a suicide bomber. You just have to convince him he’s been wronged.

  45. Casino’s for Palestinians? is the best idea I’ve heard yet.

    Sorry, this has been bugging me for quite a spell.

    The apostrophe is for POSSESION, not for PLURALIZATION, if it’s both, the apostrophe goes AFTER the “S.”

  46. Edit: POSSESSION, dammit!

  47. If they spent as much time trying to build a stable society as they do killing their young peace would follow.The truth is ,peace to them means all the Jews are dead.

  48. “If they spent as much time trying to build a stable society as they do killing their young peace would follow.The truth is ,peace to them means all the Jews are dead.”
    Yeah, it is interesting how mean and belligerent some people can get just because their land and freedom gets taken away. Drives some people into crazy.

  49. I mean, why can’t they just drive to work (through the Israeli checkpoints) work hard (getting around the unemployment) pay their taxes (helpfully collected and sometimes given back by the Israelis and then come home and have a beer (if their house was not bulldozed over by the Israeli’s collective punishment schemes)? These people just don’t want a stable (occupied) society!

  50. I wonder if the Sioux in the late nineteenth century had TV, what kind of kiddy show they would put on.

    In the Wild Wild East, there are lots more Indians than settlers!

    The demographic time bomb is ticking, ticking on Israel.

  51. You forget,the Israelis didn’t want Gaza or the west bank.They took them through war from Jordan and Egypt anlong with the Golan from Syria..It was never the Palestinians land.The Arabs want nothing to do with these people.Why can’t they buid in Gaza and the West bank with a market economy and trade in peace?By the way,you drink a beer around Hamas and you’ll lose your life.

  52. Why the middle east (and many other places) is filled with violent fanatics:

    Dawkins Jerusalem Interviews

  53. “The demographic time bomb is ticking, ticking on Israel.”

    Am I reading this wrong or are you looking forward to a time when the only decent democratic country in the ME is turned into another theocratic shite hole?

    I am wrong I know but I gad to ask.

  54. Reason staff, please hire me. Michael Moynihan is the most boring blogger of all time. He harps on the same bullshit everyday (we get it, you don’t like terrorists or muslims or arabs).

  55. Taktix?

    That’s just the sort of typographical sloppiness that can be expected when I let myself be distracted by my real job.

    Still, there is nothing more amusing than seeing the pedantic corrective post in error!

    🙂

  56. By the way, I am completely shocked that the Palestinians have produced this cult of death, I wonder what could possibly have driven them to such sub-human behavior…

  57. All sarcasm aside, HireMe, what do you think “could possibly have driven them to such sub-human behavior…” ?

  58. “By the way, I am completely shocked that the Palestinians have produced this cult of death, I wonder what could possibly have driven them to such sub-human behavior…”

    Ehhh, that would be the complete inability to pick up the pieces and make something out of themselves, and why should they when knob jockeys like you have been telling them that they’re the world’s super victims.

  59. Hireme,

    Since you seem to be the expert on what motivates bombers, how do you explain the MILF problem in the Philippines?

  60. “MILF problem in the Philippines?”

    I had to google that, seriously, some acronyms are too well cornered to be shared.

  61. “You forget,the Israelis didn’t want Gaza or the west bank.They took them through war from Jordan and Egypt anlong with the Golan from Syria.” No Michael, I guess you’re right, Israel has never had a vision of a Greater Israel and a “restoration” of the Kingdom of David.
    By the way, taking land through war is rightly considered illegal and unethical by prety much the rest of the world. Surely you can see why, right? Even Locke writing to defend the practice of enslaving war prisoners thought it was a no-brainer that you could not take the land and estates of the defeated enemy, since the women and children and old men did not fight you.
    “The Arabs want nothing to do with these people.Why can’t they buid in Gaza and the West bank with a market economy and trade in peace?” Again, when one people moves in out of nowhere and militarily occupies your land and then runs your life it tends to make you upset. How can we get this disrespect for autonomy from a libertarian?
    I love the old line “the Arabs don’t want these people.” They’ve had literally thousands of “these people” dumped on them in the form of refugees fleeing war and occupation. As you might imagine these refugees come with little more than the shirts off their back to nations that are already doing just so-so economically. So yeah, they often “don’t want these people.” What the hell is supposed to be the point there?

  62. Well,the Arabs attacked them,starting in 1947.They gave back most of Egypt’s land but Egypt didn’t want Gaza,Jordan didn’t want the WB after the PLO tried to overthrow the king.Syria took Lebanon and used the Golan as a high point for attacks.Israel fought 3 major wars against 5 differant countries.The Arabs never tried to live with the Jews.They were the agressors and lost.By the way,almost all contries today owe their current borders to war as due all the Arab countries.

  63. According the CIA factbook, Jordan and Syria had a disputed border until 2004, Egypt and Sudan disagree about who owns the Hala’ib Triangle, and Lebanon and Syria have disputed borders. Let’s face it. The guys who carved up the Ottoman Empire did a sloppy job all around.

  64. jtuf:

    It was the British who split the region up. During the Ottoman times, the region was split into boundary-less domains. Oh, and you mention Egypt. Egypt, since 1801 has not been part of the Ottoman Empire. Educate yourself.

  65. Actually,when the ‘sick man of Europe’,the Ottomans fell,the league of nations gave the French and Brits mandates in Palestine,Trasjordan and Assyria.Saudia Arabia was created by war led by the current rulers great grandfather.

  66. I mean Transjordan

  67. Let me just say, right off the bat, that any attempt to incite hatred and terrorism is wrong and should be condemned, including this show. This disclaimer is for those who always ask: Why aren’t Muslims condemning terrorism and extremism in the name of Islam. There, you got the condemnation from a Muslim (me!).

    Actually,when the ‘sick man of Europe’,the Ottomans fell,the league of nations gave the French and Brits mandates in Palestine,Trasjordan and Assyria.Saudia Arabia was created by war led by the current rulers great grandfather.

    Your point being? Let me suggest one on your behalf:

    All Arabs are blood-thirsty war-mongers

    Does this sound like what you would like to say Michael?

    Let me remind you that most of these events took place in between two world wars that resulted in the death of millions of people all around the world! Events in the middle east over the entire past 60 years (as ugly as they are, make no mistake about it) pales in front of what Europeans committed in the first half of the 20th century alone. And lets not get started with the preceding religious and colonial wars that took place since Jesus time. Heck, what about the Romans? The Byzantines?

    All our hands, my friend, are blood soaked. Some more than others.

  68. From the CIA Factbook:

    A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt’s government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II.

    The boundaries of empires were a lot fuzzier in the 19th century.

  69. Michael Pack:

    If I misunderstood your implication, please feel free to correct me and I would be more than happy to offer an apology. But in that case, my response would then be directed at the others in previous comments who have tried to generalized that all Arabs, especially Palestinians, are blood-thirsty war-mongers.

    But my conclusion still stands: All our hands, my friend, are blood soaked. Some more than others.

    If the West and Israel are smart, they would find the quickest way to find ajust and fair compromise in the Middle East. I think that should be: Two states (to maintain Israel’s Jewish majority and sense of collective security) as opposed to a single state, East Jerusalem returned to the Palestinians and made its capital, (religious bias aside, as probably any open-minded person would agree, I personally would rather keep a heritage site like the magnificent Dome of the Rock than to replace it with another structure that would be built in the 21st century — would you destroy the Eiffel tower to build a more modern version?), return of some Palestinians to their homes in Israel proper (or offer reparations).

    Would any (honest) libertarian correct me if I am mistaken anywhere in the proposed solution?

  70. iih,

    I think MikePack was merely correcting the previous assumption that Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire.

    Now we can say that the Europeans did this, the Moors did that, etc.

    The point is that old imperialistic empires have kicked a can of steaming drama down the road.

    We only hope that our generation doesn’t do the same.

  71. No,I’m saying the Europeans screwed up the middle east as they did Europe after WWI.Most of the problems stem from that war’s end.They played God,mostly the Brits and French and pushed Wison aside.It took our army and ocupation to end centuries of war.Then after they ignored the Jews then decided to dump them as far away as possible.Now wrwe in a situation in the Middle East much like the Balkans in the early 1900’s.

  72. jtuf:

    Mohamad Ali (no not the boxer), who was of Macedonian decent, ruled Egypt after he fought Napoleon out of Egypt in 1801. He fought and defeated the Ottomans. In the early 19th century, the Egyptian Empire ruled over Sudan, Mecca, Medina, and parts of Palestine and current day Syria and Lebanon. These lands were later eventually lost to the Ottomans.

    By the early 20th century, Egypt had its Khedive, who later became king of Egypt, until the overthrow of the Egyptian monarcy in 1952.

    So, no Ottomans in Egypt since 1801.

    Though I do not consider Wikipedia a proper reference, here is a list of Ottoman rulers of Egypt until 1798:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rulers_of_Egypt#Ottoman_Empire_Era_.281517_-_1798.29

    And the list starting in 1805:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rulers_of_Egypt#Rulers_of_Modern_Egypt_.281805-Present.29

    CIA Fact Book sometimes gets the history wrong. I use it only for the “facts” (you know — figures, maps, GDP, HIV rates, etc).

  73. TakTix:

    The point is that old imperialistic empires have kicked a can of steaming drama down the road.

    We only hope that our generation doesn’t do the same.

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  74. iih,I like and agree with your solution.It’s the same deal Clinton tried to broker and Arafat turned down.They had the Israel on board.Whats’s needed is a leader on both sides to say enough,and lead their people to peace.

  75. Michael Pack:

    No,I’m saying the Europeans screwed up the middle east as they did Europe after WWI.Most of the problems stem from that war’s end.They played God,mostly the Brits and French and pushed Wison aside.It took our army and ocupation to end centuries of war.Then after they ignored the Jews then decided to dump them as far away as possible.Now wrwe in a situation in the Middle East much like the Balkans in the early 1900’s.

    Then I offer my sincerest apology.

    It just disheartens me to generalize and belittle the plight of the Palestinians because of stupid things like this show, which would loose its teeth if just peace is given to both sides in the region, especially the Palestinians (since I feel for them and their suffering) and since they are the weaker of the two sides. With Israel’s military prowess and America’s backing (and I honestly believe America should not aide either Arabs or Israelis – a la my non-interventionist beliefs), it is impossible that Israel gets wiped off the map as Ahmadinajad claims to wish. These claims, and other rhetoric by Hamas, is nothing but propaganda. And the West sometimes plays into their hands with only regrettable consequences.

  76. Michael:

    iih,I like and agree with your solution.It’s the same deal Clinton tried to broker and Arafat turned down.They had the Israel on board.Whats’s needed is a leader on both sides to say enough,and lead their people to peace.

    Agreed. Though an often unmentioned fact is that that deal (that Arafat refused) offered unrestricted rights to Israel of the land and air below and above the Dome of the Rock, which is clearly dangerous as far as Palestinians and Muslims are concerned:

    You should read this article (which is available to subscribers only, I think):

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070716/ron

    It is a review by James Ron of a book by Eyal Weizman titled Hollow Land.

    Here is a relevant excerpt from Ron’s article (title Vertical Disintegration):

    To illustrate this point, Weizman describes the bridge-and-tunnel combination Israel built in 1996 to connect Jewish Jerusalem with its Hebron-area settlements. To maintain the artery’s all-Jewish nature, Israeli engineers tunneled underneath the Arab town of Beit Jalla, the surface of which, according to the 1993 Oslo accord, is under exclusive Palestinian authority. Construction crews then elevated other sections of the road on tall pillars, sending Jewish vehicles soaring above Palestinian valleys. The bridges and tunnels themselves are under Israeli control, creating a layered stack of sovereignties. One day, lawyers may designate the point of contact between Jewish bridge and Palestinian surface as an international border.

    In a particularly fascinating chapter, Weizman reports that this thinking helped shape US diplomatic efforts. In 2000 President Bill Clinton used verticality to try to broker an accord over Jerusalem’s Old City, where Islamic holy sites, surrounded by their Jewish equivalents, present negotiators with overwhelming challenges. Using input from an Israeli architect, Clinton proposed Palestinian sovereignty over the surface of the Islamic Haram al-Sharif, coupled with Israeli sovereignty over the ground beneath, including the Jewish Temple Mount, and the air above. The Palestinian land patch would be connected to adjacent Arab neighborhoods–which themselves are partially surrounded by Jewish homes–by a pedestrian bridge elevated on pillars sunk in Israeli territory. The Palestine-Israel border, in other words, would flip from horizontal to vertical and then back again.

  77. These claims, and other rhetoric by Hamas, is nothing but propaganda.

    I definitely get the feeling that these guys are just using “Death to America” rallies to keep the people pacified and themselves in power.

    Iran is a state, not the “borderless enemy” of the War on Terror. If Ahmadinajad tries to pick a fight, he’d get his ass kicked.

    Not endorsing more foreign adventures, but let’s not pretend that Iran is sending landing craft to New York Harbor.

  78. By the way, another excerpt from the important article:

    Weizman is a young Israeli architect whose studies of the “architecture of occupation” have won him renown in some quarters and notoriety in others. He has a keen eye for design, space and structure, bringing a refreshingly new perspective to a topic hitherto ruled by journalists, historians and social scientists. The result is one of the most original books on Israel to appear in years.

  79. Taktix?,

    Well, okay, but it’s not all Scientologists down here. Guess I’m a martyr for the cause 🙁

  80. True but it bothers me wealthy Arab countries refuse to help these people out.I believe some rulers need a enemy to keep their poulations fron focusing on their harsh rule.Dictators usally create an external threat to justfy their rule.I see pols in this country demonizing Mexicans for the same pupose when all those people want is a better life .

  81. TakTix:

    I definitely get the feeling that these guys are just using “Death to America” rallies to keep the people pacified and themselves in power.

    Iran is a state, not the “borderless enemy” of the War on Terror. If Ahmadinajad tries to pick a fight, he’d get his ass kicked.

    Agreed. It is well known in most parts of the Middle East that this is just rhetoric for political consumption. But same can be said of course of some Israeli politicians. Whenever is a dire situation, either invade Gaza, bomb some Palestinian neighborhoods, or simply describe them as “cockroaches”.

  82. Michael:

    True but it bothers me wealthy Arab countries refuse to help these people out.I believe some rulers need a enemy to keep their poulations fron focusing on their harsh rule.Dictators usally create an external threat to justfy their rule.

    Partially true. The Palestinian cause is the reason why Arab dictators keep their positions. But, it is also realized that once admitted, pressure from Israel/Western countries would demand that these Palestinians take their current host countries as permanent homes. E.g., Palestinians in Jordan are denied the right of return.

  83. Pro Lib,

    They have to have developed tactical nukes that only kill religious extremists!

    Oh, wait a second…

  84. True,Arafat didn’t get every thing he wanted but it could have led to more talks and both sides have to give up something.I think Israel takes threats seriously because their so out numbered.That and the last time they trusted someone they were nearly wipe out.Their nubers now are about the same as pre=war Europe.

  85. iih,

    This sort of Two-Minutes-Hate rally is a great political tool in the belt of a dictator.

    Whenever things in China go south they start rattling their sabers at Taiwan.

  86. Michael:

    Yes, I see why Jews would mistrust anyone today. Part of the irony, though, is that it comes at the cost of the freedoms of another group of people.

    I think Israel takes threats seriously because their so out numbered

    I would take that with a grain of salt given the huge military (including nukes) arsenal they acquired and will acquire from the US as a “gift”.

  87. Pro Lib,

    P.S. I lived in St. Pete last summer. How about they just go ahead with the big nukes and call you like a week before.

  88. I don’t mean take them in.I mean loans and grants for the people where they are.Build schools,hospitals and start buisnesses.A Marshall Plan if you will.The US did it for Europe to make it stable after seeing where WW I and the destruction and bitterness towards Germany led .

  89. TakTix:

    Exactly right. Same game is played by Israeli politicians against Palestinians (and these things are documented, e.g., the disproportionate Israeli response against the entire Lebanese population in response to HA’s, not killing, but capture of two, not civilians, but soldiers. Again, that was a stupid (may be intentional) act by HA, but the response was overwhelming, not to re-capture the two soldiers, but so that relatively weak Israeli PM had to proof that he is strong. Sharon would not have respnded the same way.

    This tactic is also applied elsewhere as you say, in China, Sri Lanka, and, also, right here. Here it is funny, though. Paris Hilton, Anna Nikole Smith, along with Immigration, terrorism, etc.

    PS. Sorry for the typos — too tired now.

  90. Michael:

    It has and always have happened. But it has not been easy at all, as far as I know, due to economic restrictions on Palestinians.

    UAE and Saudi money flows easily into Lebanon, especially after last year’s war, and into projects in Egypt, for example. So it is not that Saudis and other Gulf states do not help. They do. But (1) it is not usually easy, and (2) I really believe that the rate of destruction has been much higher than the rich Arab governments can supply.

    But, I have to admit, this is just my understanding, I do not have concrete proof to back myself up.

    But aide to Lebanon, especially after last year, that is very well documented.

  91. I’m not that worried about nukes in the Middle East,even Iran.Pakistan and India more so.Besides,Israel could only use the as a last resort.It’s a small country and would effect them as well.I hope no one still believes in a surviable atomic war.

  92. Taktix?,

    I’d be sad to lose the beaches. What about neutron bombs? We live pretty near the Bay (on the civilized Tampa side), but we could take a strategic vacation.

  93. Above, I meant destruction in Palestinian lands has been high.

    This lack of monetary flow into, especially, Gaza is the reason for Hamas’ popularity. That is why the West and Israel have to talk to Hamas, not out of love for them, but to essentially get to the people. It would be wrong however to try to pay Hamas into corruption, as done with Fatah, for that is just invitation for another militant group to fill Hamas shoes. I am for engaging Hamas, essentially putting them on the spot.

    The best case for this approach is offered by Tony Akron (who is a South African Jew):

    http://tonykaron.com/

  94. But syria is trying to stop progress in Lebanon.It’s a shame.They could be the Riviara of the east.It is a fact the much terror funding comes from the Saudis.There’s too many Royals with to much money to play with.

  95. Michael:

    Things are really more complicated than they seam. Syria is practically powerless when it comes to Golan Hights. They have no cards to play. The only thing they can do is to play a destabilizing role in Lebanon, which endangers Israel. They are trying to make their playing cards, so to speak. But again, negotiating with them will put the Syrian government on the spot before their people. But Israel is under its own internal political pressure not to do so.

  96. Pro Lib,

    Worry not, in South Florida, I’ll soon be part of Hugo Chavez-ian Cuba.

  97. I’m more hopefull with Abbas.If they canwork out the West Bank it would put pressure om Gaza.I do not trust Hamas.I think they are true believers and would like to drive the jews out.Maybe the leadership doesn’t think that way,but,it keeps the rank and file up in arms.

  98. Dictators rarely negotiate.It makes them look weak at home and leads to loss of power.They only do it when they can threaten,like Hitler at Munich,or lie without harm like Stalin at Malta.It’s not about the country or people but their power.

  99. People have the wrong idea about nukes. Look what they did for Japan!

  100. Yes, because only radiation poisoning can explain this.

  101. MIchael:

    If by

    I think they are true believers and would like to drive the jews out.Maybe the leadership doesn’t think that way,but,it keeps the rank and file up in arms.

    you mean “Islamic” belief, I am a Muslim and do not believe that Jews should be driven out of anywhere. Millions of Muslims believe the same way (probably the only exception would be the Iranian regime, though as we agreed it is probably a rhetoric in that case, OBL, and Hamas). Unless the resolution of the conflict is just and fair as discussed above, the mobs and the general populace, just as the blind blood bath that happened in the French revolution against the royals, or the Spanish Civil War (500,00 deaths) and the many outbursts by the self-perceiving victims of oppression, as in any angry revolt, the goal at that time may be to drive all Jews out. This reaction would not be religiously-based, but may be a natural human response to perceived injustice (not that I am justifying it, I am simply explaining it if it happens it has happened in the past and may happen in this case as well).

    A preemptive course of action that would prevent such a scenario is a just settlement (and compromise, mostly by Israel since it is the one that has the upper hand).

  102. It may be worth remembering that the “Palestinians” are the same flesh and blood as the “Israeli Arabs”. The latter, despite their second-class status…”

    This “second-class” status enables Arabs to enjoy more rights in Israel than in any majority muslim country in the whole of the middle east.

    “Anything that increases or perpetuates the cycle of violence and death and encourages more bloodshed should be condemned”

    Ah, the old “cycle of violence” canard. As if targeting Palestinian terrorists is morally equivalent to blowing up a pizzeria packed with civilians.

  103. “Whenever is a dire situation, either invade Gaza, bomb some Palestinian neighborhoods, or simply describe them as “cockroaches”.”

    Indeed, because as we all know these “dire situations” of which you write are total figments of the Israeli imagination. Those suicide bombings, daily pronouncements calling for the destruction of Israel, and children’s shows on state-run TV extolling the virtues of martyrdom for the pre-pubescent are mere propaganda exercises staged by the Israeli government. It is a little known fact that the two soldiers claimed to have been kidnapped by Hezbollah are actually lounging on a beach drinking margeritas.

  104. Chavez is thug:

    As I said above, there is no justification for terrorism as a tactic to win back rights. As I said above, the “bee show” is nothing but stupid propaganda. As I said above, “destruction of Israel” is nothing but hollow rhetoric. Please commit some effort to read the thread before jumping in in the middle of a civilized discussion.

    But at the same time, you should recognize that Palestinians have undergone a lot of injustices, where lands were robbed from them, their people killed (even before there was suicide bombings, which is a phenomenon as recent as 20-25 years ago, while the conflict is 60 years old now (and, yes, again, the suicide bombings are wrong), and then now the racist separation wall. The list, my friend, can go on.

    You should acknowledge the full truth. Acknowledging only the harsh and sad reality that the Israelis suffer from (e.g., suicide bombings), that is convenient to your argument, and ignoring the full truth behind the suffering of all those in the conflict, is immoral.

  105. it is impossible that Israel gets wiped off the map as Ahmadinajad claims to wish.

    Oy vey!

  106. oy vey indeed. That link admits the original translation was from the Iranian state news agency, and the President of Iran has refused to disavow it.

    Is that what you meant to bring up?

  107. Christians used to be like this too… in the 14th Century. What we need is another Plague to thin out these ranks a bit.

  108. “Then after they ignored the Jews then decided to dump them as far away as possible.” Actually many Jews, under the Zionist movement, agitated very hard to be “dumped” there because they saw it as their ancestral homes. In fact England resisted, and got hotels and shit blown up by Zionist terrorists as a result. I agree that Britain and many other European nations ignored the Jews and their plight horribly or were active parts of the problem. And that for centuries…But that did not give them a right to “dump” (“grant” the fervent wishes and agitations of Zionists) anyone on land that was currently lived on by others.
    “True but it bothers me wealthy Arab countries refuse to help these people out.I believe some rulers need a enemy to keep their poulations fron focusing on their harsh rule.” Actually thousands of refugees from the various wars and the current Israeli occupation (let’s make sure we use that word, because that is what is going on here) now live in Jordan, Lebanon and others. Also, Arab leaders are pretty consistent in demanding Israel go back to its 1967 borders (1947 borders would be more just imo), sometimes at a price to them. I will agree that most Arab goverments are despotic and are not above using Israel as a boogeyman, but let’s face it, it’s a easy boogeyman to use as their occupation of current lands is immoral and illegal. Why beat around the bush? Do you believe it is ok for a nation to occupy land it got from a war? Remember that many of the second class citizens (if that!) living under armed Israeli rule in the occupied territories are women and children who had and have no hand in military action against Israel. By what right do they currently rule these people?
    You mention that “hey, a lot of nations currently own land occupied in a war.” But that is like saying that “people have been getting away with rape for centuries, so why bother to seek justice in any current rape.” It’s always wrong to take land and people via war. It was wrong when these “other countries” did it, and its wrong now. Only with Israel we are not at the point where the injustice can’t be righted. Though the Israeli’s, and their apologists here along with confused commentators are working to make sure the statute of limitations (so to speak) runs before justice can be done about it.

  109. I should add that when people defend Palestine (as I do) and condemn Israel (as I do) for the occupation, but then turn a blind eye to other occupations that are very current and need righting (ideally ancient ones would be righted, but as is the case with say American Indians, the “facts on the ground” have changed over time so much that it’s unfeasible to do justice here; of course your more hard line Israelis want nothing more than to acheive a state where the facts on the ground make the occupations injustice practically non-reversible). Look at China’s occupation of Tibet and East Turkestan, it’s horrible. We should not single out Israel because it has more inherent decency than China (maybe that is why some people do, because they feel Israel can be moved while China is hopeless, but that is unfair; if China is not decent enough to move under criticism then sterner methods [trade embargoes] should be used). But, still, both are very plainly in the wrong on these matters.

  110. Mr. Nice Guy,

    So, do you want to turn the clock back to 1946 and return all the land to the UK? Or would you prefer to turn the clock to 1910 and return the land to Turkey? This isn’t exactly a case of colonial powers going after helpless natives. The Ottomans teamed up with Germany and the Austrian-Hungary Empire in WWI.

    Via the Encyclopedia Britannica:

    The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers on October 29. Although the empire was in a state of decline, it made a substantial contribution to the Central Powers’ war effort. The empire’s entry into the war cut off Russia’s easy sea communications with its allies. The Ottoman armies also threatened Britain’s communications with the Far East through the Suez Canal by?

    Israel is ready for a peace treaty. Hamas and Hezbollah keep launching missiles at civilians. Syria can easily get the Golan back by signing a peace treaty, but it refuses.

  111. When organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah al-Islam launch missiles from the middle of residential areas, they make it difficult for security forces to avoid civilian casualties. Either the terroists are get to bomb people with immunity using women and children as shields, or they get to play on the world’s sympathies when the army goes after them.

    Via the Lebanon Daily Star

    BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said on Tuesday that anyone choosing to remain in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp was making a “suicidal decision,” as Gazelle light attack helicopters bombed suspected underground bunkers housing Fatah al-Islam militants. “The militants’ refusal to surrender is a suicidal decision, for which they bear responsibility,” said the army statement. The statement pointed out that the militants and civilians remaining with them in the camp had rejected repeated calls give themselves up in order to spare the lives of the women and children.

  112. “Israel is ready for a peace treaty.” I guess they are, since they got what the wanted throuh force of arms. It’s like the guy who fights the other guy, beats him to the ground, takes his wallet, and then says “hey, can’t we call a truce?”
    I think Israel should never have been created in Palestine. We are talking about the difference between a colonial power drawing lines putting already exhisting (in the area) people into different nations versus a goofy movement where one group of people from half a world and cultures away was “given” land that had long been naturally inhabited by others.
    As I said though as time passes it becomes harder to fix these injustices (and mind you, they were all injustices; every time a land is occupied by force and ruled against the will of those who lived there we have an injustice, and while we may say it’s not feasible to right one due to passage of time or other factors, it makes it no less just that it “happened quite a bit in the past”). So while I think the 1947 borders are lacking in legitimacy, I think they at least have some claim to being legit. The post-1967 borders, that was only 40 years ago, are certainly illegitimate and should be rolled back.
    Now you get to answer a question: should nations be able to rule lands and people’s it acquires through force of arms, even if that nation was not officially the “aggressor” of the conflict? By what right? Or do you agree with me the occupation is immoral and illegal, a violation of human rights, but just one of those irreversible “facts on the ground” of history?

  113. Wow, my spelling gets worse and worse. I try to rapidly type these while watching my 1 year old…
    Mind you I’m not against the idea of a “land of our own” for the Jewish people, especially considering the horrible treatment they recieved at the hands of European Christians (and Islamic Arabs and Africans by the way). I’m not sure how this could have happened without an equal violation of some people’s rights who had been on the land for a long time (hey Bulgaria, we feel guilty and these people keep blowing up our hotels, make room for New Zion). But I return to my main point: how the armed occupation of one group by another, regardless of what former groups government or allied governments have done, is a violation of the right of humans to autonomy and self-determination. It’s also what we call “theft” on a national scale.

  114. oy vey indeed. That link admits the original translation was from the Iranian state news agency, and the President of Iran has refused to disavow it.

    Well, I went back and read it again.

    I’m not sure whether “admits” is the best word for how the article attributes the origin of the mistranslation to IRNA. My impression of what it conveys is that the Iranian government’s right hand doesn’t always know what its left hand is doing, and that pertains to matters about which we would expect them to be scrupulous.

    The article seems to prove that IRNA mistranslated President Ahmadinejad’s quotation of Ayatollah Khomenei, and it laments that “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pontificates rather than give a direct answer when questioned about the statement”. My impression is that the government is highly disorganized (by our standards and using our values of the importance of unambiguous communication, transparency, accountability), guilty of much, and deserving of the collapse the article’s conclusion predicts. Only that Ahmadinejad is not guilty of this particular canard, and that since it may be the fulcrum for the next world war, this distinction merits attention.

    What’s the name for the fallacy of uncritically ascribing to others’ motives the motives we would have to hold were we to express ourselves as they do? Eg, that if a head of state refuses to let UN inspectors search for WMD, we assume he must be hiding them? Slowly we learn that representatives of other cultures and even subcultures may hold very different priorities and different agendas from ours, and pride or loyalty may, bafflingly to us, trump what we would call rationality or even prudent self-preservation (cf. the pedagogy of suicide-bombing).

    In the context of all the other evidence the article marshaled, Ahmadinejad’s refusal either to affirm or deny the accuracy of the state news agency’s translation does not convince me that he stands by it. Maybe it was his brother who mistranslated or approved the mistranslation; I dunno. From my point of view these guys are crazy; I make an effort to try to let other perspectives in so that my view becomes more informed. This article seems like a sleeper; just last week President Bush repeated the mistranslation. I have to wonder whether he or his advisers would care to be corrected (sometimes those guys seem to me crazy also). Anyway, if I missed something, please let me know.

  115. The Soviet Union was wiped off the map without genocide, and practically without a shot being fired.

    That means it is possible to call for Israel to be wiped off the map without it meaning “Ohnoez Iran gonna nukez Israel!”

  116. one group of people from half a world and cultures away

    Mr. Nice Guy,

    So basically, you’re OK with the Iranian government nationalizing oil fields and jailing protestors, the Egyption government jailing opposition political parties, the Saudi government banning non-Muslims from entire cities, and Syria funding Hezbollah. Then you draw the line at Israel letting foreigners in. Half the Jewish population of Israel is Arab. Their native Middle Eastern countries kicked them out shortly after becoming sovereign states.

  117. The original Palestinian Mandate stretched from the Mediterranean to Iraq.

    That’s a pretty neat trick, seeing as how Iraq didn’t even exist when the Mandate was granted in 1920.

    Those maps you see in places like the cover of Joan Peters’ “From Time Immemorial” are bullshit. It was only after Transjordan was carved out from Palestine that its borders were drawn extending eastward into the desert, touching what’s now Iraq.

  118. Israel didn’t seize their private property, it was abandoned during the 1948 war and never reclaimed.

    It would have been reclaimed right after the armistices went into effect, except the Israelis didn’t let the owners come back and do so. This despite U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948, which resolved “that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible,” and which Israel implicitly accepted when it was admitted to the U.N. in 1949.

  119. Seamus,That is true but there’s a flip side.Many Jews were driven out of Arab lands and settled in Israel.They were not going to be allowed to return.It doesn’t matter.Israel is here to stay and a deal must be brokered that respects both sides.

  120. Or would you prefer to turn the clock to 1910 and return the land to Turkey? This isn’t exactly a case of colonial powers going after helpless natives. The Ottomans teamed up with Germany and the Austrian-Hungary Empire in WWI.

    IIRC, by the end of World War I, the Allies were fighting it as a war for national self-determination. That’s why Turkey was cut back to Anatolia, where the population was ethnically Turkish. (Well, that’s what the treaty of Sevres called for, but the Turks regrouped under Ataturk and showed that they hadn’t been beaten quite so bad as the Allies thought, so the Allies had to accept the treaty of Lausanne instead, which put an end to the idea of an independent Kurdistan.)

    Palestine was a Class A Mandate under the Covenant of the League of Nations. According to the Covenant, Class A mandates were “[c]ertain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish empire [which] have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised, subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone.” The Covenant further stated that “[t]he wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.”

    President Wilson sent the King-Crane Commission to the Levant to investigate the wishes of the people regarding their political future. Their report concluded that Zionism was incompatible with the principles of self-determination for which the U.S. had fought the war:

    “In his address of July 4, 1918, President Wilson laid down the following principle as one of the four great ‘ends for which the associated peoples of the world were fighting’; ‘The settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage of any other nation or people which may desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or mastery.’ If that principle is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine’s population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine-nearly nine tenths of the whole-are emphatically against the entire Zionist program. The tables show that there was no one thing upon which the population of Palestine were more agreed than upon this. To subject a people so minded to unlimited Jewish immigration, and to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle just quoted, and of the people’s rights, though it kept within the forms of law.”

  121. I think MikePack was merely correcting the previous assumption that Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire.

    But Egypt *was* part of the Ottoman Empire, at least de jure, until 1914. At that point, when Britain went to war with Turkey, it declared a protectorate over Egypt (which really just made de jure the state of affairs that had prevailed since 1882).

  122. The allies were not fighting for self-determination.Britian and France had vast empires and expanded the at the cost of Germany.Japan was given some land but not as much as they wanted.The new countries in Europe were created to punish and weaken Germany and Austria and keep most countries small and weak while France remained the main power.Russia went into the war to protect the Serbs and reclaim lost land and expand at the expence of Austria-Hungary and later the Ottomans.It was the last true colonial wars

  123. “Then you draw the line at Israel letting foreigners in.” You totally misunderstand me. The Israeli’s themselves are the foriegners. The Zionist movement was all about citizens of nations, mostly from Europe for generations, just getting up and plopping themselves down in the middle of an already existing society. It was more than insane when you think about it, as if a bunch of Belgians decided they would set up a state in the middle of the Congo. Wait, they tried that, didn’t they? These things are beyond crazy by the way.
    “Half the Jewish population of Israel is Arab. Their native Middle Eastern countries kicked them out shortly after becoming sovereign states.” The horrible treatment of Jews by Arabs, and others around the world, does not warrant the Jews, with little recent ties to the area, just plopping down in the middle of Palestine where people were already living. Sure, the Brits let them, but the Brits were not the most culturally sensitive folks back then, were they.
    Now, you completely dodged my question, didn’t you? So I ask it once more: is it wrong or right for a nation, even one that is not the aggressor, to from conquest claim people’s and lands that were not originally theirs and who in no way gave their consent to be ruled by that nation? That’s exactly what Israel did in 1967, correct? If no, is then your position that this is just one of those lamentable bt irreversible “facts on the ground” of history and therefore we should not agitate for a solution or justice? If yes to that question, then exactly how long is the statute of limitations for this sort of thing? Once China reaches 40, 50 years of rule of Tibet it just becomes theirs and no one shuld complain? If Micheal Pack would like to answer the same question I’d like to hear it. For example Michael, if someone killed a man, we’ll even say in self defense, and then decided to live in that man’s house and make that man’s wife his own, and then the children of the house resented it, would you say, well, what’s dones is done. He’s there now and it’s doubtful we’ll ever get him out, so why can’t those kids just learn to like their step dad and stop being such unreasonable a**holes to him?

  124. seamus:

    Here, this is from a previous post above.

    Though I do not consider Wikipedia a proper reference, here is a list of Ottoman rulers of Egypt until 1798:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rulers_of_Egypt#Ottoman_Empire_Era_.281517_-_1798.29

    And the list starting in 1805:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rulers_of_Egypt#Rulers_of_Modern_Egypt_.281805-Present.29

  125. The allies were not fighting for self-determination.

    Funny, but the Brits told the Arabs they were. Even enlisted the support of some of them against the Turks on that basis.

  126. BTW-it will avail you nought (love that phrase) to point to land grabs by the Arabs, or anyone else (some much more outrageous I’ll gldaly admit, I actually like Israeli society, but they are in the wrong here plainly), to justify what Israel has done. Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they? “Hey, sure I raped that woman, but three other people on my street are known rapists themselves!” Doesn’t compute does it? Is it wrong or right to occupy people without their consent (mind you we are not talking about “occupations” like Germany after WWII where the goal WAS to get these people back to autonomous functioning states asap, rather than have them sit in refugee camps for decades).

  127. Yea and the Brits continued their empire.They told the people of India the same thing.

  128. The Israeli Palestinian conflict.

    The model for the future of Iraq.

    Basing political systems on ethnic or religious grounds creates problems that are nigh impossible to overcome rationally.

    Both sides in the I/P conflict need to take responsibility for their actions. Any Israeli settlement built on occupied lands can be considered (and is considered by P) to be an act of war. The only way for Israel to claim the high ground is to deny that fact. But denying the fact doesn’t change it, or its consequences. This will be solved when a clear, unambiguous border is created (with no squigglies to capture Jewish settlements/claims in the resulting Arab lands.

    The 1967 borders could serve this purpose, but there is nothing magical about them.

  129. Yea and the Brits continued their empire.They told the people of India the same thing.

    And that’s supposed to be a good thing? It’s OK to tell the Arabs that the war is for self-determination, then to screw them after the war?

  130. “So I ask it once more: is it wrong or right for a nation, even one that is not the aggressor, to from conquest claim people’s and lands that were not originally theirs and who in no way gave their consent to be ruled by that nation?” – MNG

    Uh, yeah, that’s traditionally the way that works. From a historical perspective. In fact, for all conquests that were pre-League of Nations/UN that has been the accepted practice. Only in Western society, where the rule of law is supposed to supplant the rule of might, do we concern ourselves with whether it was OK to wipe out and supplant a currently existing tribe with one’s own.

    “That’s exactly what Israel did in 1967, correct?” – MNG

    Yep. And it’s no less legitimate for that.

    “If no, is then your position that this is just one of those lamentable bt irreversible “facts on the ground” of history and therefore we should not agitate for a solution or justice?” – MNG

    Well, I suppose you can argue against the right of conquest, but if you don’t have superior force to make it stick it’s like me trying to persuade a mugger to give me back my wallet because it’s “the right thing to do.”

    “If yes to that question, then exactly how long is the statute of limitations for this sort of thing?” – MNG

    Uh, I’d say the statute of limitations is irrelevant (see rule of law vs. rule of conquest above) – either the currently displaced Arabs will eventually take back what is now Israel (displacing the previously displaced Israelis) or they won’t. Statute of limitations is pretty much whenever either culture no longer exists.

    “Once China reaches 40, 50 years of rule of Tibet it just becomes theirs and no one shuld complain?” – MNG

    Complain all you want. But the Chinese aren’t exactly gonna listen…

    “if someone killed a man, we’ll even say in self defense, and then decided to live in that man’s house and make that man’s wife his own, and then the children of the house resented it, would you say, well, what’s dones is done.” – MNG

    Kind of depends on when and where we’re talking about. Historically rule of conquest means “what’s done is done” at least until someone with superior force comes along to forcibly undo it. That’s still the rule in most of the world today, but in the majority of the Western hemisphere and Europe it’s a no-no unless you’ve got a LOT of money.

    “He’s there now and it’s doubtful we’ll ever get him out, so why can’t those kids just learn to like their step dad and stop being such unreasonable a**holes to him?” – MNG

    Nobody said that placing the rule of conquest above the rule of law was going to win you a popularity contest, but in the Machiavellian dog-eat-dog world of might makes right (see also international politics) would you rather be loved or create a better standard of living for yourself?

    Of course, it’s always better to be loved and have a better standard of living, which is why the middle-class in the U.S. goes so far out of its way to try to be liked in addition to living well. But the jury is still out on whether the mental/moral/practical elements of Western Civ are going to outlast the less-genteel traditions of history that still hold sway in the rest of the world.

    Just sayin’…

  131. Rob-Yes, yes, nations have conquered and occupied other people quite a bit in history, and people have raped women quite a bit in history. And guess what, nations will be conquered and women raped in the future as well! But that doesn’t make either morally correct does it rob? And wasn’t that the question? Is it morally correct to conquer another people and occupy them. Yes or no. Not “has it happened in the world.”
    I’m not arguing what we can do to get Israel out of the occupied territories. I’m saying that they are there immorally, illegally. The difference between an ethical statement or question and a factual one, right? You don’t go by the name Thrasymachus do ya?

  132. Every Palestinian citizen hopes to be a martyr.”

    Hmmmm. Let the IDF know. I think they’ll be happy to fulfill your hopes …

  133. Zinonism resembles decolonialization more than colonialization. Yehuda Solomon Alkalai was a Serbian Jew. In the 1820’s, the Serbians saw Greece break away from the Ottoman Empire and decide they wanted independence from the Ottomans too. Alkalai figured that if his Serbian neighbors can ask for independence from the Ottomans, why not the Jews? The mobs attacking Jews in Damascus in 1840 convinced many to sign up for Alkalai’s plan. A large part of Zionism’s roots come from the internal events of the Ottoman Empire.

  134. I just find it odd that jihadists will go to extremes to avenge the slightest perceived insult by a democratic country but stay silent about the Iranian government’s treatment of Iranian Muslims or how Hamas executed Fatah members on the spot. I guess their dedication to Muslim rights disappears when faced with governments that treat protestors harshly. I completely support equality for Muslims and the protections democracies give to the accused. In fact, I want to reestablish the protections that erroded over the past few years. We should just realize that jihadists target democracies because they know that democracies are easier targets.

  135. “We should just realize that jihadists target democracies because they know that democracies are easier targets.”

    This is a defensive jihad, not an offensive one. If we weren’t over there, they would not be attacking us. They see us as interfering with their way of life. Until we realize this and stop meddling over there, we will continue to be fueling terrorism against us.

  136. “But that doesn’t make either morally correct does it rob?” – MNG

    Depends on who you ask, and at what time in history you ask the question. But even to modern U.S. sensibilities, which favor the rule of law, it is debatable. I’d say that it’s no more so than any other conquest/occupation in history, though.

    “And wasn’t that the question?”

    No, actually it wasn’t. The premise you posed – as near as I can tell – was that if it isn’t an old enough occupation (you used the U.S. Native Americans, which is pretty recent in fact) then it should be condemned and sterner measures applied to the occupiers because of “the facts on the ground.”

    You then go completely off the deep end, from a realpolitick perspective, by saying that “if China is not decent enough to move under criticism then sterner methods [trade embargoes] should be used.” Of course, that’s not going to happen, because no one is interested in economically cutting off their nose to spite their face anymore than they want to get into a brutal land war with China over Tibet.

    That leaves, essentially, no sterner method of recourse beyond harsh language and a wag of the finger. Yep, see how that works the next time someone is willing to use force against you for their own gain without the threat of a stronger force to keep them in check…

    “Is it morally correct to conquer another people and occupy them. Yes or no. Not ‘has it happened in the world.'” – MNG

    Actually, right of conquest has generally been accepted as moral – not to mention expedient – throughout history. I don’t think it’s a good way to run a nation-state internally, but in international politics the bottom line is nearly always going to be might determines outcome – right or wrong. (See invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent coalition operation to liberate Kuwait, for an example of might makes right – even when right and might occasionally align, in international politics right is only achieved by superior might.)

    “I’m not arguing what we can do to get Israel out of the occupied territories. I’m saying that they are there immorally, illegally.” – MNG

    Really? Why is it any more illegal or immoral than anyone else’s ownership/occupation of those lands? You seem to argue for “facts on the ground” or a time-based “statute of limitations” of some sort. The problem with those criteria is that neither of them contribuute to making a rational determination of when something is right or wrong – it’s just an attempt to justify your subjective opinion by appealing to an imaginary threshhold. Who decides when your criteria would reach the threshhold of “what’s done is done?” Why would it be any more moral than the rule of conquest?

    “The difference between an ethical statement or question and a factual one, right? You don’t go by the name Thrasymachus do ya?” – MNG

    No, I don’t, but you certainly shouldn’t try to call yourself Socrates either. I simply think that failing to recognize that might determines the outcome – rightly or wrongly – in international politics is the sad way of the world throughout most of human history. You seem to think that frowning, passing resolutions of condmenation and referring to a set of rules that only you can subjectively rule on should trump the self-interest of the mighty. The kindest description of that is “naive.”

    You ask a lot of what you seem to think are rhetorical questions, sure, but there’s more to the Socratic Method than that. How are the things you cite factual – the criteria are based solely on your subjective evaluation of the “facts on the ground” in which you conveniently conclude that the American Indians are screwed because the American Indian War ended in 1822, while the Tibetans are morally right because the Chinese wrapped up Tibet in 1912? What a difference 90 years makes in your calculus of moral vs. immoral!

    I’d argue that wrong is wrong regardless of when it takes place and that might does not MAKE right, but that wrongs are very rarely righted without resorting to superior force or the threat of it.

    In other words, might doesn’t make right, but wrongs are rarely corrected without superior might. In fact, I can only thing of examples of wrongs being corrected without superior might in Western Civ-style environments – MLK and Ghandi’s victories, for instance, as exceptions that prove the rule.

  137. How are the things you cite factual – the criteria are based solely on your subjective evaluation of the “facts on the ground” in which you conveniently conclude that the American Indians are screwed because the American Indian War ended in 1822, while the Tibetans are morally right because the Chinese wrapped up Tibet in 1912? What a difference 90 years makes in your calculus of moral vs. immoral!

    1. The American Indian Wars didn’t end in 1822; they ended in 1890 (the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee).

    2. The difference 90 years makes is that by the time of World War I a consensus had emerged in the West that it was wrong to go barging into someone else’s country and just start grabbing his land because you wanted Lebensraum. Sorta the way slavery was pretty much accepted everywhere in the west, until a consensus started emerging in the last half of the 18th century, and became universal by the last half of the 19th century, that it was wrong.

  138. “1. The American Indian Wars didn’t end in 1822; they ended in 1890 (the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee).” – Seamus

    My bad. Forgive the typo. I meant to say that they ended in 1890 and that they started in 1622 (roughly).

    That makes the difference of bout a whopping 70 years, making the difference between MNG’s examples only 22 years, not 90. See what happens when I fail to watch the numbers? I under-cut my own argument… Apparently that 22 years was when Western Civ. woke up and decided that since the U.S. was done, they should institute a statute of limitations that cedes an invaded land legitimately to the invaders after a certain period of time.

    “2. The difference 90 years makes is that by the time of World War I a consensus had emerged in the West that it was wrong to go barging into someone else’s country and just start grabbing his land because you wanted Lebensraum. Sorta the way slavery was pretty much accepted everywhere in the west, until a consensus started emerging in the last half of the 18th century, and became universal by the last half of the 19th century, that it was wrong.” – Seamus

    First, it’s 22 years, as you so helpfully pointe out. Second… I agree that a group of Western Civ. folks have come around to that conclusion. But try selling that conclusion in the Middle East, Far East and Africa and you have the crux of my point: such principles are hardly universal.

    Also, since you bring up the idea of timelines and then Lebensraum, apparently the consensus wasn’t reached until after WW2, not WW1, since WW2 didn’t start until well after the initial rounds of appeasement for Hitler’s land grabs for “Lebensraum.”

    In other words, Hitler would have been successful in scooping up Austria in the Anschluss and the Sudetenland with the kind permission of the appeasers (not to mention the Rhineland, the Memmeland and the Saar region). So apparently there wasn’t all that much consensus in the West by WW1 that “barging into someone else’s country and just start grabbing his land because you wanted Lebensraum.”

    Germany’s borders might include all of those lands today – if Hitler had stopped after the appeasers handed them over with the Munich Agreement “stamp of approval” and war had been avoided. In fact, Hitler’s rationale was strikingly similar to claims invoked on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian debacle.

    My argument is not based on whether it’s right or wrong, merely that 1) it’s REALLY tough to determine who really has the rights to any land and 2) very few wrongs between nations get righted unless superior force is used to make it stick.

  139. Sorry for all of the typos and bad cut & paste in the above post…
    Should have been:

    “1. The American Indian Wars didn’t end in 1822; they ended in 1890 (the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee).” – Seamus

    My bad. Forgive the typo. I meant to say that they ended in 1890 and that they started in 1622 (roughly).

    That makes the difference of about a whopping 70 years, making the difference between MNG’s examples only 22 years, not 90. See what happens when I fail to watch the numbers? I under-cut my own argument…

    Apparently that 22 years was when Western Civ. woke up and decided that invasion and occupation was wrong… Since the U.S. was done, anyway. But wait… somehow I missed the part where they decided that they should institute a statute of limitations that cedes an invaded land legitimately to the invaders after a certain period of time. (Before that time frame is up, morality requires stern disapproval and cheerleading in support of the invaded are called for, according to MNG).

    “2. The difference 90 years makes is that by the time of World War I a consensus had emerged in the West that it was wrong to go barging into someone else’s country and just start grabbing his land because you wanted Lebensraum. Sorta the way slavery was pretty much accepted everywhere in the west, until a consensus started emerging in the last half of the 18th century, and became universal by the last half of the 19th century, that it was wrong.” – Seamus

    First, it’s 22 years, as you so helpfully pointed out. Second… I agree that a group of Western Civ. folks have come around to that conclusion. But try selling that conclusion in the Middle East, Far East and Africa and you have the crux of my point: such principles are hardly universal.

    Also, since you bring up the idea of timelines and then Lebensraum, apparently the consensus wasn’t reached until after WW2, not WW1, since WW2 didn’t start until well after the initial rounds of appeasement for Hitler’s land grabs for “Lebensraum.”

    In other words, Hitler would have been successful in scooping up Austria in the Anschluss and the Sudetenland with the kind permission of the appeasers (not to mention the Rhineland, the Memmeland and the Saar region). So apparently there wasn’t all that much consensus in the West by WW1 that “barging into someone else’s country and just start grabbing his land because you wanted Lebensraum.”

    Germany’s borders might include all of those lands today – if Hitler had stopped after the appeasers handed them over with the Munich Agreement “stamp of approval” and war had been avoided. In fact, Hitler’s rationale was strikingly similar to claims invoked on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian debacle.

    My argument is not based on whether it’s right or wrong, merely that 1) it’s REALLY tough to determine who really has the rights to any land and 2) very few wrongs between nations get righted unless superior force is used to make it stick 3) those wrongs are not going to get corrected without self-interest on the parts of the nations who can muster superior force (see Kuwait and WW2 liberations as opposed to Tibet or the Basque regions of France & Spain, etc.)

    While the the United Nations might generate hope that international disputes can be handled without resorting to military force, it’s a fairly new concept (even including the League of Nations incarnation) and it certainly hasn’t been spectacularly successful without the threat of force generated by various member-states (acting either unilaterally or as a coalition).

  140. Jesus Rob, you’re missing a basic point.
    There are normative questions, i.e., ethical ones, whether something s right or wrong.
    There are factual questions, i.e., descriptive questions, whether something occurred or does occur.
    As I said, of course many nations have gained land through conquest. Just like many men have raped women.
    We tend to think that just because men have raped women in the past and will continue to rape women in the present and future that it is still morally wrong to rape a woman. If someone asked you if raping a woman was wrong would you say “well, throughout history and through much time many people, especially the rapists, thought it was morally OK.” If that is your moral view of rape please let me know where you live so I can keep my daughter and wife from that area.
    Now I know that many nations currently occupy land they got through conquest. I know they justified and continue to justify it in various ways. But like Locke or Grotious I will say that these conquests, and any conquests are immoral. It is immoral to conquer a people and nation and rule them without consent. Can you not say this is wrong, or do you have to leave it up to what people can get away with?
    Now of course a seperate question after deciding it it is wrong or right is if its wrong, what can or should be done about it? This is where they “staute of limitations” comes in (I was actually arguing that many people seem to think it has run on Israel, or that since it has run on some people it makes all similar wrongs OK). I think much of the conquest of native americans by our government was immoral. It was and is, as it is immoral to rule people without their consent (you don’t agree, I mean you, now, not what people have thought or done throughout history). I also think though that it is amazingly difficult to rectify this wrong given the many generations that have passed.
    Not many generations have passed since Israel won the 1967 lands (in fact many in that generation are actually alive). There is a lot that can still be done to limit the ongoing injustice of this wrong, and moral beings should do what they can. They should also do what they can to oppose other occupations, like China. You’re confusing some big issues: yes wat we choose to do to help Tibet may not in the end change China or Tibet’s position. But if we saw a woman being raped we’d be morally obligated to do something. I guess you’d say “well, he’d probably rape her anyway so let me walk by whistling.”

  141. Also, since you bring up the idea of timelines and then Lebensraum, apparently the consensus wasn’t reached until after WW2, not WW1, since WW2 didn’t start until well after the initial rounds of appeasement for Hitler’s land grabs for “Lebensraum.”

    Hitler didn’t start grabbing Lebensraum until he invaded Poland, where he began displacing Slavs and settling ethnic Germans. The next grab for Lebensraum was the invasion of Russia. Hitler’s plan was to settle Germans on the Russian and Ukrainian plains, which is to say that he regarded the Slavs the way the Americans regarded the Germans.

    The West was grudgingly willing to acquiesce in the Anschluss, and even in the detachment of the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. (It was difficult to reconcile the subordination of ethnic Germans to a nationalist Czech state with the principle of ethnic self-determination that emerged out of World War I.) When he grabbed non-German Bohemia and Moravia in March of 1939, the West recognized that Hitler had crossed a line, but even then, it didn’t appear that he was seeking Lebensraum, because he billed the seizure of Bohemia and Moravia as merely the restoration of the historical situation in which those lands were part of the Holy Roman (i.e., German) Empire. (It later turned out that he had the idea of displacing the Czechs and replacing them with Germans, but that wasn’t obvious in 1939.)

    So no, the consensus against obtaining Lebensraum by main force *didn’t* take until World War II to emerge. Hitler was deliberately defying that consensus.

  142. “It is immoral to conquer a people and nation and rule them without consent. Can you not say this is wrong, or do you have to leave it up to what people can get away with?” – MNG

    I can say that its nothing like rape, and that the view that conquest and occupation is immoral is made through the filter of extremely recent Western thought. I can also say that it frequently doesn’t apply in the rest of the world. Do I think it’s wrong? Yes, because I share that viewpoint. Do I think it can be solved without converting the rest of the world to that viewpoint by force? No. Do I think it’s a good idea to enforce that viewpoint? No – it’s too costly in blood and treasure to try and freeze the borders of the world’s nations. I think the best we can hope for is to try to stop re-shaping the world’s borders, but I think since Iraq will probalby end up looking like the former Yugoslavia, even that is going to be hard to live up to…

    “if its wrong, what can or should be done about it? This is where they ‘statute of limitations” comes in (I was actually arguing that many people seem to think it has run on Israel, or that since it has run on some people it makes all similar wrongs OK).” – MNG

    I just think the whole concept of a statute of limitations is silly. About the only actual way that this happens is when an entire occupied people are wiped out. I think we can agree that’s a bad solution and that if we codify a “statue of limitations” it will only encourage invading nations to make sure they either wipe out all those living in the invaded territories (so they don’t have to worry about waiting for the clock to run down) or waiting for the clock to run down while maintaining a brutal grip on the populace because the populace realizes it only has a certain amount of time to overthrow the occupiers.

    “So no, the consensus against obtaining Lebensraum by main force *didn’t* take until World War II to emerge. Hitler was deliberately defying that consensus.” – Seamus

    Ok, in the realm of splitting hairs, the German expansion through Austria, etc., wasn’t for “lebensraum” but to “unify the Germanic people.” But it was still annexing big chunks that didn’t belong to Germany until then, and the Munich Agreement turned a blind eye to that – surely demonstrating a willingness to put up with such land grabs and not displaying a consensus that it was wrong.

    In fact… I’d also argue that it was self-interest in defending against Germany, not a specific desire to free the captured lands from the occupying Germans that was the real motivation for fighting the Germans. Its The Russians plainly didn’t cared about it until it was a threat to Russia, and its pretty clear that expansino was something to appease – not fight – until it became clear that there simply HAD to be a fight.

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